GREENVILLE – Franklin Monroe and Greenville played even for 60 minutes on Saturday before the Lady Jets broke the game open in the final 20 minutes and won 5-1 in a matchup of Darke County’s two varsity girls soccer programs.
“Especially the first half, it was a pretty well matched game,” Franklin Monroe coach Scott Howell said. “I think they got tired in the second half, and we got a little fired up.”
Both Franklin Monroe and Greenville came ready to play in the rivalry game between the two county programs.
“They either through camps or club team or different organizations, they’ve played a lot and intermingled with the girls a lot,” Greenville coach Steve Shepard said. “They definitely mark this day on the calendar, and I think FM does, too. It’s always been a fun rivalry.”
It took almost 17 minutes for either team to score with Franklin Monroe’s Bryanna Diceanu opening the scoring and giving the Jets a 1-0 advantage.
It remained a one-score game until the second half when Greenville’s Kayla Arnold tied the game at 1-1 almost 10 minutes into the period on a penalty kick.
“We talked about the opportunity for them to have a PK in the box, and they come right out and at halftime, and they got their PK,” Howell said.
The score remained tied for the next seven-and-a-half minutes until Diceanu scored her second goal of the day and put the Jets up 2-1.
Three minutes later Shelby Bowser scored for Franklin Monroe, and the Jets’ lead was up to 3-1.
“She’s starting to come into her own,” Howell said about Bowser, a freshman. “We moved her from the middle to the outside. No matter where you put her, she’s like a young Allyson Manning. Her day is going to come. She’s going to be a great player.”
The score remained 3-1 for almost 13 minutes. Then Diceanu scored her third goal for a hat trick and a 4-1 Franklin Monroe lead.
“I told her at the beginning of the day that she was due, maybe way overdue,” Howell said. “Definitely had a decent game. Leading more than anything – her being vocal – and she had some great passes.”
Three-and-a-half minutes later Franklin Monroe extended its lead to 5-1 as Hannah Staton put the ball in the back of the net.
“FM did a better job controlling the open balls and looking for spaces and moving into spaces and we didn’t,” Shepard said. “We gave the ball away way too easy at times we didn’t have to. But I thought we had good effort. We got tired, and just mentally they fell apart right there at the end.”
Franklin Monroe held on for the 5-1 victory and the bragging rights among the Darke County squads.
“They played a little harder than they have been in the past,” Howell said of his team. “We’re improving, but we’ve still got a long way to go.”
Both teams played very hard, Shepard said, and had a lot to be proud of.
“It was back and forth,” he said. “And I thought it would be fun. I hope the fans enjoyed it. It was a fun game to coach most of the time.”